Starz Gets Medieval with Camelot
Starz continues to bring unique event programming to audiences in the U.S., securing rights to Camelot, a wholly original approach to the timeless Arthurian legend, from the creative team behind such landmark series as The Tudors, Life on Mars and Torchwood, as well as critically acclaimed film The Departed and upcoming The Tourist. Originated by Academy Award nominated Ecosse Films (Mrs. Brown, Becoming Jane, Nowhere Boy) Starz plans to air the 10-episode series in the first half of 2011.
Camelot will be based on Thomas Malory's 15th century book," Le Morte d'Arthur" - still considered the definitive work on the subject. But that's only a starting point; "Camelot" will weave authenticity into a modern telling of the Arthur legends that is relatable to contemporary audiences.
Academy Award winning producer Graham King (The Tourist, The Departed) along with Tim Headington and newly appointed GK-TV President Craig Cegielski will serve as Executive Producers. Additional Executive Producers include Morgan O'Sullivan (The Tudors) and James Flynn of the Irish production company Octagon, Michael Hirst (The Tudors) and Douglas Rae (Becoming Jane, Nowhere Boy) of UK's Ecosse Films. The series is being written by Chris Chibnall (Life on Mars, Torchwood). John Weber from Take 5 Productions will serve as the Canadian producer.
The series will be shot in Ireland, with post-production to be completed in Canada. Starz has all U.S. rights - including home entertainment and digital distribution - to Camelot; GK-TV will handle the rest of the world.
"`The story of Arthur isn't history, it's mythology, and Camelot isn't a place but an idea of hope that has resonated intensely at different times throughout history," Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht said. "The creative team has envisioned a highly entertaining and distinctly original TV program that fits in perfectly with our lineup, coming on the heels of our successful original series 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' and the returning comedy 'Party Down,' along with our recent acquisition of the event series based on Ken Follett's 'The Pillars of the Earth.' "
"GK-TV was started with the goal of producing compelling cinematic quality programming for television," said Graham King. "The legend of King Arthur is a fascinating story that we couldn't be more excited to have as our first television project." Added Craig Cegielski: "Our goal for this project is to bring a fresh and contemporary take to one of the most classic medieval tales. In keeping with the GK-TV vision, we have assembled top level writers and producers to help tell the universal story of Camelot on a global scale."
"I am excited to be part of this project not only because it is an amazing story, but it allows me to collaborate once again with Chris Albrecht," said Morgan O'Sullivan. "Camelot is one of the greatest stories ever told and we are thrilled to be working with Starz and Graham King on such an ambitious production," said Ecosse Films CEO Douglas Rae.
Casting is underway for the production, with the cast expected to feature fresh talent combined with established faces who will enhance the high quality of the new series. Production is slated to begin in June of this year.